Category Archives: Active Living

1952 Olympian Shares His Story

“There is no give up in my dad…in his mind, he’s still that Olympic athlete,” says Laura Gambucci of her 87 year old father.

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Her dad is Andre Gambucci, a hockey player who took up the game when he was four years old.  He played college hockey for Colorado College where he also played football, finishing fourth in scoring nationally in 1952 with 16 touchdowns.

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That was the year he was named to the U.S. Olympic hockey team which won the silver medal.  Andre says the team faced controversy when they were criticized for their rough style of play.  Body checking was legal but it was not commonly used by the European teams and opponents and spectators did not like that style of play.

Still, traveling to Oslo, Norway and winning a silver medal was quite the accomplishment. Following the Olympics, Andre stayed with the game, becoming a referee for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.  Laura says some of her fondest childhood memories are of traveling with her dad to hockey games.

Andre was also honored in 2010 when he was asked to be part of the Torch Run for the Salt Lake City Olympics.

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Today, Andre lives at the Merrill Gardens community in Goodyear, Arizona and daughter Laura lives nearby.  He loves sharing his Olympic experience with team members and other residents and we are thrilled to be able to tell his story.

You can watch the interview with Andre and Laura here.

 

 

 

 

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Grand Opening at Merrill Gardens at Lafayette!

We welcomed our residents to their new home at our newest community in Lafayette, California with one heck of a party!  We wish you could have joined us but click below to watch the video and it will feel just like you were there.  Except that you did not get to taste the wonderful food our dining team put together!

We hate to brag but we think our new community is just beautiful and we are so pleased that residents feel the same way!  We had a big crowd from the Lafayette area join us for the party and our team was just thrilled to show off our beautiful apartments and all the amenities at the community.Lafayette Grand Opening 5

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group posedWe are also excited to share this article from the local paper that profiles one couple that is settling into their new home very nicely.  Click here to read about Lois and Marvin’s transition to our community.

If you would like more information about Merrill Gardens at Lafayette, visit our website here or give our team a call at 925-298-2779.  We would love to give you a tour!

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Season’s Greetings from Merrill Gardens

The holiday season this year was full of singing, giving and joy. Our residents and team members all joined in the celebrations with cheer. Here’s just a few of the festivities that took place across our communities:

Residents at our Gilroy, CA community had a wonderful time singing along with a local church choir.

Residents at our Gilroy, CA community had a wonderful time singing along with a local church choir.

These carolers found their way to our First Hill community!

These carolers found their way to our First Hill community!

Team members from our Santa Maria community performed an amazing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas for residents!

Team members from our Santa Maria community performed an amazing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas for residents!

Christmas celebrations at our First Hill community in Seattle!

Christmas celebrations at our First Hill community in Seattle!

Residents at Renton Centre got into the spirit of the holidays making gingerbread houses!

Residents at Renton Centre got into the spirit of the holidays making gingerbread houses!

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The Season of Giving

The holidays are all about giving back to others. In that spirit, our team in the Seattle office brought in over 2,340 pairs of pajamas for foster kids at Treehouse. We are so proud of our team’s generosity. Thank you to everyone who donated, we truly appreciate your kindness.

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A Visit from Santa’s Helpers

Our residents in Santa Maria, CA, received an adorable surprise this holiday season. A class of kindergarteners from a nearby school came to visit our community and spread holiday cheer. We were surrounded by Santa’s little helpers and showered in lots of sweet hugs. Ho Ho Ho!

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Just a 93-Year-Old’s Type

It’s hard to find your true calling in life, but when you do, you better hold onto it with both hands. That’s exactly what Bob Montgomery has spent his entire life doing…literally!

The 93-year-old craftsman found his passion 85 years ago—repairing typewriters—and he’s never looked back since. Forget retirement, Bob heads into his Bremerton repair shop every single day still to tinker with pieces, nuts, and bolts.

Source: KOMO News

Source: KOMO News

Though working with an almost obsolete technology, Bob’s love for his job has never diminished. He explained to KOMO TV, “I’m the last of the breed. There’s hardly anybody who knows how to take these machines apart and put ‘em back together and make ‘em work.”

We’re inspired by Bob’s beautiful tale and hope he continues doing what he loves every single day.

Read more about Bob’s story on KOMO.

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A Seahawk Returns to His Nest

Last week, Kirkland resident Ele Pramuk had a very special visitor: her grandson, Stephen Schilling. He was a very special visitor for the rest of Kirkland too, since most Seattleites know him as #63 for the Seattle Seahawks. During his visit, Stephen met with his grandma’s fellow residents and friends, signing autographs and discussing life in the NFL.

Stephen with Grandma Ele and mom Joanne

Stephen with Grandma Ele and mom Joanne

A Bellevue High School grad who was drafted to the San Diego Chargers in 2011, Stephen has returned home to play for the Seattle Seahawks this past year. At 6’5” and 312 pounds, Stephen stands a little taller than Grandma Ele, who is listed at quite a bit less on the Kirkland Wii bowling roster. Nonetheless, she is known as a fierce competitor just like her grandson!

Stephen’s mother, Joanne Schilling, joined him during the exciting Kirkland visit. It was the perfect 12th Man celebration in preparation for the Thanksgiving win over the San Francisco 49ers!

Stephen meeting Kirkland residents and Seahawks fans

Stephen meeting Kirkland residents and Seahawks fans

Stephen meeting Kirkland residents and Seahawks fans

Stephen meeting Kirkland residents and Seahawks fans

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100 Years Brave

We were so impressed when we heard Eleanor Cunningham’s story that we had to share it! While most of us close our eyes and make a wish on our birthdays, she closed her eyes and took a leap. For her 100th birthday, the New Yorker chose to celebrate in style by skydiving above the state.

Via King 5 News

Source: King 5 News

Bravery seems to only increase each year for Eleanor, as this was in fact her third skydiving adventure—a sport she began at 90 years old. Eleanor has been athletic her entire life, having learned to ski when she was 50 and then golf at 70. With the green light from her doctor, it only made sense for this adrenaline junkie to take on skydiving.

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Source: NY Daily News

Eleanor sailed through the sky with her jump partner, and then landed smoothly and eloquently only to be embraced by her children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. She’s already planning her next jump for her 105th birthday!

Way to go Eleanor, we’re inspired by your bravery and youth! To read more about Eleanor’s incredible story, check out King 5’s coverage.

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Honoring Our Veterans

Last week marked the celebration of Veteran’s Day, a day in which we can pay tribute to the heroes among us that have served our country, as well as those currently in active duty. We are so honored and blessed to be surrounded by these incredible citizens every single day.

To recognize their service, we spent Veterans Day recognizing all of the exceptional veterans living with us in our communities. Here are just some of the celebrations that took place this year, at our communities in Green Valley Ranch, NV; Santa Maria, CA; and First Hill, WA.

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Standing on Top of the World

What do our residents from First Hill do on a sunny but cold day in Seattle? They go up as high as they can and admire the views of course – from inside!

Top of the World

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